Early Detection of Fake News on Social Media Through Propagation Path Classification with Recurrent and Convolutional Networks
Keywords:fake news detection, social media, information propagation, recurrent and convolutional networks, deep learning
In the midst of today's pervasive influence of social media, automatically detecting fake news is drawing significant attention from both the academic communities and the general public. Existing detection approaches rely on machine learning algorithms with a variety of news characteristics to detect fake news. However, such approaches have a major limitation on detecting fake news early, i.e., the information required for detecting fake news is often unavailable or inadequate at the early stage of news propagation. As a result, the accuracy of early detection of fake news is low. To address this limitation, in this paper, we propose a novel model for early detection of fake news on social media through classifying news propagation paths. We first model the propagation path of each news story as a multivariate time series in which each tuple is a numerical vector representing characteristics of a user who engaged in spreading the news. Then, we build a time series classifier that incorporates both recurrent and convolutional networks which capture the global and local variations of user characteristics along the propagation path respectively, to detect fake news. Experimental results on three real-world datasets demonstrate that our proposed model can detect fake news with accuracy 85% and 92% on Twitter and Sina Weibo respectively in 5 minutes after it starts to spread, which is significantly faster than state-of-the-art baselines.